OTTAWA, May 29, 2017 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde stands with First Nations in Treaty 8 and all those participating today in the Rally for the Peace River Valley on Parliament Hill calling for a halt to the proposed Site C dam and respect for First Nations rights.
"The federal governments' approach to the Site C dam project in British Columbia is contrary to our rights in Canada's own Constitution and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples," said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. "The review process was flawed and the environmental impact assessment said clearly that the Site C dam will undermine Indigenous rights and destroy burial sites, farmland, hunting and gathering places and sacred spaces."
BC AFN Acting Regional Chief Maureen Chapman said: "There is now an opportunity for a new government in British Columbia to work with us, to correct a faulty decision-making process and ensure that First Nations rights are respected and upheld. We will continue to push for a new approach to development that respects our people and our traditional territories."
Participants in today's rally in Ottawa are urging the federal government to break its silence and commit to honouring and upholding the Treaty rights of affected First Nations. Treaty 8 First Nations have taken legal action to overturn approvals of the controversial hydroelectric dam project that will flood thousands of acres of their traditional territories and prevent them from exercising their rights. The Site C project, if built, will worsen impacts from existing large-scale hydroelectric development in the region and further devastate traditional First Nations territory.
There are a number of AFN resolutions calling for action to stop Site C, including AFN resolution 03/2010, resolution 41/2015 and resolution 71/2015. AFN resolutions can be found at: afn.ca/en/resolutions
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
For further information: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 382, 613-292-0857 (cell), [email protected]; Michael Hutchinson, Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 254, 613-299-6330 (cell), [email protected]